KCCA: We are not demolishing the Old taxi park but renovating it to a standard level.
The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has refuted claims of demolishing structures in the old taxi park in the name of stopping taxis from operating in town again.
Yesterday, several taxi operators raised complaints towards the government’s plan to renovate the taxi park with allegations that it could be turned into a gazetted area for the rumoured KCCA buses.
Many onlookers were also heard questioning why the government took the decision on developing this park at such a time when public transport was suspended and yet they did not first inform all those concerned to prepare in advance.
However, in the wake of allegations, KCCA has refuted all these claims insisting that the taxis will resume their works after three months when the renovation is done.
According to the Executive Director of KCCA, Andrew Kitaka, they chose to embark on the park works during this time because it would have been difficult to relocate taxis in case public transport was still operational.
Kitaka said that the public should bear with all changes in place stating that the situation is similar to the one that happened in 2012 when the New Taxi Park was also rehabilitated.
“Government has commenced the rehabilitation of the park and this is expected to take three months. We chose this time during lockdown to start, working day and night because it wouldn’t be easy relocating taxis in case public transport was still operational,” Kitaka explained.
“The public should bear with us during this short-lived inconvenience. We have done this before during the rehabilitation of the New Taxi Park in 2012.”
Also, Kitaka highlighted that the decision is not aimed at chasing taxis out of Kampala like many people have been stating but rather to develop the park.
“There have been a lot of rumours circulating that we are chasing taxis out of town, this is not true. We are only going to renovate the terminal (Old Taxi Park) where they begin their journey,” Kitaka said.
Part of the work to be done according to Kitaka will include excavation and disposal of the existing material, and installation of underground drainage line, rockfill as well as the construction of new foundation layers for the carpet which will be fully marked to indicate areas of parking taxis and pedestrian movement.
The developed park will also have demarcated entry and exit points for both vehicles and pedestrians and will have access control for vehicles to avoid queuing on the surrounding roads and congestion within the park. It will also have toilets and a police post.
But the boundaries of the park will be retained to prevent mud from washing onto the carpet as it has been the case. There will be lighting and some waiting sheds for passengers as well.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Kampala, Betty Amongi says that in case public transport is permitted to operate when works on the park are still ongoing then the taxis will be allocated space in other parks for the meantime.
“Incase this lockdown is lifted and public transport permitted, before work is completed, we shall designate the taxis in the old taxi park to other parks,” Amongi told Journalists today at Media Center in Kampala.